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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Acquitted in France

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted of aggravated procurement charges today in France.

Although using prostitutes is not illegal in France, assisting in supplying them is illegal and regarded as procuring. Mr Strauss-Kahn had been accused of playing a pivotal role in facilitating the orgies.

The verdict brings to a close four years of legal proceedings against Mr Strauss-Kahn, including charges of attempted rape which were later dropped in 2012.

It's the correct decision legally. [more..]

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Mexico AG: Only Two Cartels and Three Drug Lords Left in Mexico

The XXXII International Conference for Drug Control in Cartagena, Colombia, has wrapped up. Tomás Zerón, the head of the Mexico Attorney General's Criminal Investigation Agency, who attended the conference, tells Proceso (use google translate) that there are only two drug cartels and three drug lords left in Mexico: Sinaloa, led by Ismael Zambada-Garcia and Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, and CJNG (Jalisco New Generation)led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes. He said Sinaloa deals primarily in cocaine, while CJNG concentrates on meth. He also said Zambada-Garcia doesn't seem too active these days.

Zerón said the Zetas disintegrated, and the Gulf Cartel turned to kidnapping and extortion instead of drugs because it lacks the financing and contacts to obtain drugs. According to Zerón, the Juarez, Tijuana, Beltran Leyva and Knights of Templar cartels have dismantled, due to the death or detention of their leaders (more here), and now are operating as independent cells. [More...]

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Dennis Hastert Pleads Not Guilty

Former House speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded not guilty today in federal court in Chicago.

After days of silence, J. Dennis Hastert, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he illegally structured bank withdrawals and lied to the authorities about millions of dollars he had promised to pay someone for misconduct that occurred decades ago

...Two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation have said that Mr. Hastert, who once taught and coached wrestling in suburban Yorkville, Ill., was paying a former student not to say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago.

Hastert was released on bond.

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Oscar Pistorius Release Date Set For August 21

Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison on August 21. He will have served 10 months of his 5 year sentence.

South African sentencing guidelines that say non-dangerous prisoners should spend only one-sixth of a custodial sentence behind bars.

He will serve the remainder of his sentence on home detention. He also faces the state's appeal of the dismissal of the murder count against him in November.

He has been serving his sentence in the hospital wing of the prison.

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Freddie Gray: Prosecutor Seeks to Withhold Autopsy

The Baltimore prosecutor in the Freddie Gray case wants to withhold the autopsy report.

Feel free to discuss all aspects of the Freddie Gray case here, but keep in mind, race-baiting and racially charged comments will be deleted.

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Kim Dotcom Wins Another Round in NZ Court

Despite a ruling by a federal judge in Virginia several months ago holding that Kim Dotcom cannot defend against the forfeiture of his assets because of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, a New Zealand Court this week has granted DotCom's request for an Order prohibiting the Crown in New Zealand from proceeding to register the subsequent U.S. default forfeiture judgments against the assets in NZ. The opinion is here.

It's all pretty complicated, but in a nutshell: [More...]

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Tsarnaev Pal Dias Kadyrbayev Sentenced to 6 Years

Dias Kadyrbayev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friend who removed his computer and backpack from his dorm room was sentenced to six years in prison today for his guilty pleas to obstructing the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing.

The plea agreement called for a sentence of up to 7 years. All sides agreed the sentencing guidelines' terrorism enhancement, applicable to the obstruction charges, was too harsh. The judge said "This guideline doesn't serve the purposes of sentencing." [More...]

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Soccer Officials Face U.S. Indictment and Extradition

Swiss police have arrested several FIFA officials and sports marketing executives on a U.S. grand jury indictment alleging corruption and bribery related charges. They will be extradited the the U.S. to face trial. The head honcho, Sepp Blatter, was not charged.

The charges, backed by an F.B.I. investigation, allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals, according to three law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case.

[More...]

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Six Officers Indicted for Freddie Gray Death

The six officers allegedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray have been indicted by a grand jury. The charges are similar to those brought by Maryland proscecutor Marilyn Mosby.

For the most part, the indictments closely track the charges the Baltimore prosecutor announced in a May 1 press conference. (ABC2’s Christian Schaffer has the full charges here.) In particular, the second-degree depraved-heart murder charge against Officer Caesar Goodson, the most serious of the charges, remains. All six officers were also indicted for reckless endangerment, which was not on the original charge sheet. The big change: None of the officers was indicted for false imprisonment.

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"El Chino Antrax" Pleads Guilty in San Diego

Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa, aka "El Chino Antrax", the young, flashy alleged "sicario" for Sinaloa (Zambada faction) and logistics coordinator (El Chapo Guzman), pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in San Diego to conspiracy to import more than 5 kilos of cocaine and more than 1000 pounds of marijuana. He also agreed to forfeit $1 million.

His plea agreement is not publicly available on PACER, but that's routine for San Diego, so it does not necessarily mean he cooperated. There's nothing to indicate it is sealed.

[More...]

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192 Arrested in Waco Biker Killings

Police in Waco have arrested 192 people in yesterday's biker killings at the Twin Peaks Restaurant.

Apparently, 165 - 175 of them are being charged with organized crime. Bond for those who have appeared in court has been set at $1 million.

Some of those killed were struck by law enforcement bullets.

The two groups involved were the Bandidos and the Cossacks.

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Freddie Gray Thread #3

Here's a new thread for the continuing discussion of the Freddie Gray case.

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Shot Fired into George Zimmerman's Vehicle

Someone fired a shot through the passenger window of George Zimmerman's vehicle today. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but was able to walk on his own. (Added: he sustained minor injuries.)

[More...]

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Freddie Gray Thread 2

Here's a new thread to continue the discussion about matters related to Freddie Gray.

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Freddie Gray Thread

Our open thread is filling up with comments pertaining to the Freddie Gray case, leaving little room for other topics. Here's a thread just for the Freddie Gray case. So please put new comments about the case here, rather than in the open thread.

My opinion on recent developments: [More...]

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